Path towards a turning point: The nation as a cradle of nationalism

Pakistan will celebrate its 75th Independence Day on this 14th August under the threats of COVID-19 which slow down the pace of our economy through diplomatic and health challenges. Pakistan, the land of almost 210 million people are struggling to survive since 18 months because without health insurance people live sicker and die younger and this is not the end as covid-19 exposes deep-Seated Economic Inequality. Hence, people of different communities and belongings are disproportionately affected by both the economic and health crisis so, it is very crucial that, they receive quick entitled support.

Path towards a stronger nation requires quick and effective move of a country on health equity through change at the individual level, in policies, procedures, and in culture and in Pakistan it is only possible if we follow the following strategies.

  • We need to nip the evil of implicit or unconscious bias at all levels and in all systems, particularly in health sector and an anti-bias/ uniform medical facility structure is required which must be expanded throughout the health care system and to the broader society.
  •  Federal and Provincial Governments must ensure that the efforts are taken to fight COVID-19 at all community levels including poor/rich, rural or urban etc. through proper testing, medication and vaccination.
  • Increase the number of health care providers that are racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse.
  • Invest in mental health infrastructure.
  •  Expand access to health insurance and high-quality health care.

The reason behind the lacking of all above strategies lie under the economic inequality and there is no doubt in the fact that We Cannot Grow Our Way out of Economic Inequality. But we need to consider this pandemic to be a Turning Point. The next phases of COVID-19 relief efforts provides both an opportunity to help our economy recover and to ensure that more poor and deprived community will prosper and when it does, “This has to be a real turning point” because there is too much need, too much pain, and too much anger due to financial and economic crisis which not only dominantly impact employment but widens the gap between poor and rich so, there is a dire need to realize ourselves as a good citizen that Independence Day is not an occasion to wallow in despair. It is a time to invest in the future of imagination, in the power of possibility, to climb out of the curse of pandemic. As patriotic and responsible Pakistani citizen, we should celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and fervor, but sensibly because we are already struggling to return back towards the normal economy in the current wave of covid-19 as we all know that, Pakistan faces a plethora of challenges and we cannot remain oblivious to them. Water scarcity, power shortage, pollution, poverty, inflation, inadequate healthcare and illiteracy, health and economic damages due to covid-19 and much more that’s why it is important to bring important social changes within your homes, neighborhood and society instead of only relying only on the Governments. All we need is knowledge, passion, and willingness to do something great for Pakistan.

On this August 14, let us make some promises to our great homeland by:

  • Avoiding water wastage to avoid not only scarcity but for the sack of other citizens as Environment experts are warning that a massive water crisis awaits Pakistan and the country will suffer from extreme water shortage by 2025. This is a very scary situation and we need to evaluate our habits immediately.
  • Environmental degradation is also a big challenge for us and it is a sad reality that we are not careful about saving our precious resources so, in order to minimize its harmful outcomes we must go towards plantation for a pollution-free environment and by sensible use of our blue sea.
  • By making a pledge to educate at least one child in our lifetime to produce better citizens and humans.
  • By not littering our surroundings. Presently our roads, parks, marketplaces, public areas and sea present a very sad picture.
  • By following all laws enforced by the state.
  • By sharing knowledge and extending help to every one where possible as most of the population these days hardly hit by covid-19 so, we have to contribute from our end by sharing experiences and knowledge with others to create awareness that leads to better covid situation.

Obviously, sometimes it is impossible to contribute on all fronts but need to start contributing via small acts because “Every Good Citizen adds to the strength of Nation and there can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship”.

The author is MD IRP/Faculty Department of H&SS/ Bahria University Karachi/National Coordinator of Blue Economy

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